A man and woman have been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice as police reopen a case into a Warrnambool businessman charged with child sex offences.
Rodney Ryan, 54, appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Thursday where he made an unsuccessful bail application and was remanded in custody.
He was last month charged with kidnapping, assault, one count of sexual penetration of a child aged under 16 years and two counts of sexual penetration of a person aged under 18 years.
The charges are historic and relate to a then 15-year-old girl.
But on Thursday the court heard a police investigation had been reopened and the man could face additional charges relating to at least five other victims.
Detective Senior Constable Andrew Kirkpatrick, of the Warrnambool police sexual offences and child-abuse investigation team, said the now 21-year-old victim attended the city's police station on May 19 and made a statement of historical sexual assaults allegedly perpetrated by Mr Ryan.
He said detectives attended the man's address the following day, he was arrested and subsequently charged with new offences.
Detective Senior Constable Kirkpatrick alleged Mr Ryan spoke to the victim on the phone on four occasions.
He said the phone calls ranged between eight and 31 minutes.
Mr Ryan allegedly requested the complainant drop the charges.
He said his life was ruined, he'd "lost it all" and was now living in the Hepburn Shire region and working for $12 an hour.
Then on June 14, Warrnambool's Chelsie Rose allegedly contacted the complainant, stating she was shocked by the allegations and asked to catch up.
The alleged victim agreed and the pair met at a Koroit Street cafe the following day.
Detective Senior Constable Kirkpatrick said the complainant allegedly observed Ms Rose was nervous and her hands were visibly shaking.
He alleged Ms Rose was tapping on her phone and the alleged victim believed she was recording the conversation.
The court heard Ms Rose told the complainant that since the charges were laid, the accused man had lost his life, family and friends.
She allegedly said Mr Ryan now had mental health issues and what the complaint "is doing is affecting him and his children".
The detective said Ms Rose inferred the complainant should drop the charges.
Mr Ryan was arrested on June 22 and subsequently charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, intimidating a witness, committing an indictable offence on bail and other charges.
Ms Rose was also arrested on that day and charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and intimidating a witness.
She allegedly told police the man pressured her into approaching the complainant.
She was bailed to attend Warrnambool Magistrates Court on October 3.
On Thursday, Will Parker, representing the accused, said there were up to 11 phone calls between his client and the complaint, all of which were initiated by the woman.
He said there had been no further contact in the past fortnight.
Mr Parker said the man had no criminal history and that it was a "word-on-word" case.
Magistrate Franz Holzer said the man was an unacceptable risk of re-offending and interfering with the witness and refused bail.
The man will appear in court again on August 19.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
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